A rising tide of concern is sweeping through the body of Christ as America drifts farther and farther away from its moral and biblical moorings. In response, prayer initiatives are budding in an attempt to call people across denominational and parachurch ministry lines to seek God's intervention on behalf of America.
"There is a very real sense that we are facing an unprecedented moral and spiritual decline in our nation," says John Maempa, director of the Office of Prayer and Spiritual Care. "Desperation is building among many within the church to call upon God in these very challenging days. Conditions today are bringing the Church together as never before. We are battling a common enemy, Satan; addressing a common problem, sin; and presenting a common solution, salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord."
With this increase in prayer initiatives, the church is engaging in spiritual battle. "Prayer is a common-denominator discipline within the Church," Maempa adds. "While there may be differences in doctrine and on some issues of faith and practice, the need to pray and the conviction that prayer makes a difference, are points of universal agreement. As we unite in prayer, God's hand moves in powerful ways."
OneCry, a prayer initiative launched under the auspices of Life Action Ministries early this year, is mobilizing thousands of people across the United States to pray daily for a spiritual awakening that will revitalize the Church and transform the culture. Drafting a "declaration of national spiritual emergency," OneCry proclaims, "true revival is the only hope to reverse our spiritual recession and enable us once again to display the beauty of Jesus Christ and His gospel throughout the world."
For the past four years, Cry Out America, under the Awakening America Alliance, has urged believers to gather at county courthouses to pray for God's intervention in America. Again this year, a call to pray is being issued for Sept. 11, 2012. Additionally, on Sept. 29, many people will gather in Philadelphia for the America for Jesus solemn assembly," an event that will be simulcast to churches across the nation. For more information about the assembly.
Dan Biser, a pastor shepherding two Southern Baptist churches in West Virginia, has long sensed a deep need to call together any who will come to "Broken Before the Throne" prayer gatherings. A call to churches across denominational lines has again been issued for July 14-20, 2012, at First Baptist Church, Lilburn, Georgia. Speakers and prayer leaders include Dan Biser, Richard Owen Roberts, James Pool, Don Miller and Ron Auch.
"We are to do what they did in the book of Acts, what they did in every occurrence of persecution, what they did in times of such evil-- they prayed!" says Biser. "They came together for they knew that there was no power left in their means and methods; there was no power in their organization; there was no power in their education; there was only the power of God."
The National Day of Prayer Task Force chaired by Shirley Dobson, has issued "The Summons," a solemn assembly convening October 3-7, 2012, in Washington, D.C. The task force is inviting prayer ministry leaders and others to join in a time of prayer for every institution of government in our nation¹s capital. Prayer gatherings will be held at the Capitol, Washington Monument, Pentagon, Supreme Court and many other key locations.
Groups also will have opportunity to meet with congressional leaders for prayer. Speakers, including Shirley Dobson, David Butts, Paul Cedar, Dick Eastman, Barbara Byerly, Bishop Harry Jackson and many others will address the urgency of covering America in prayer. Defined as a gathering "that may shape the course of history," the task force is calling upon God¹s people to "stand in the gap on behalf of all Americans, perhaps as Moses did for Israel (Exodus 32, Psalm 106)."
"Clearly, God is mobilizing His Church to confront and reverse the downward spiral our nation is experiencing morally and spiritually," Maempa says. "Please become involved in one or more of these important prayer initiatives. If you cannot become directly engaged, your prayer support for these efforts and for the Church and our nation will help bring God¹s intervention in these critical times. Thank you for praying. It does make a difference!"